PLA's waterfront pier in balance

Top News | Phoenix Un 27 Jun 2019

Legislator Christopher Cheung Wa-fung has moved to adjourn a Legislative Council meeting to allow time for discussions about mending social rifts caused by the fugitive law amendment controversy.

But an adjournment would also serve to set aside legislative efforts by pan-democrats to hold off on handing over within days a piece of land on the Central waterfront to the PLA garrison for use as a military pier.

Pan-democrats want to repeal or amend five pieces of legislation that is set to take effect on Saturday.

If it goes through, the legislation would hand a 150-meter-long stretch of the waterfront next to the AIA Carnival site to the People's Liberation Army's Hong Kong garrison for use as a pier.

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said yesterday that subsidiary legislation followed due processes, and the area would still be open to the public if it did not affect the garrison's duties.

Legislators Au Nok-hin moved resolutions to repeal the pier-linked legislation, while Eddie Chu Hoi-dick pushed to postpone the enforcement date from this Saturday to June 2020, June 2021 or July 2047.

But Christopher Cheung had already moved the adjournment motion.

Au and Chu backed by several other pan-democrats asked Leung to postpone Cheung's motion as the council meeting was the last before the land plot would be handed to the garrison.

But Cheung, representing the financial services sector, stuck to his motion, talking of hostility between police and citizens.

Chief Secretary Cheung said he appreciated Christopher Cheung's motion but pointed out that the government headquarters had to be closed for four days over protests in the past two weeks, saying that had impacted on operations.

Au responded that the bid to stop Saturday's handover of the plot to the garrison was to pacify society.

"If we can't discuss the military pier here, society will be polarized further," he said.

On Matthew Cheung's claim the public could still enter the pier area, Au said people could in fact be imprisoned for six months if they did not stop when ordered to by guards.

Legislators are expected to vote on the Cheung's motion today.

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